exBlog is consistently striving to provide the best when it comes to blogging technology, security and design. We’re constantly updating our products’ features and because of this we don’t often bring our entire team together to go over these changes. But Last Thursday, Oct. 21, our entire company came together—virtually—to go over what our newest best-in-class product looks like.
Our latest, new-and-improved offering is what you see here on 99 Park Row and at our Founder and CEO Kevin O’Keefe’s blog, Real Lawyers Have Blogs.
The different directors in our company who have been leading the charge on this product development each spoke on various, essential components of Wrigley.
An emphasis on Google Core Web Vital measurements
Our Director of Technology Scott Fennel has been aiming to improve the Google Core Web Vitals (CWV) of our products ever since Google announced that these measurements would affect SEO back in June of this year. Our new Blog product, which aims to take advantage of simplistic design fundamentals, scores over 90% on desktop.
“To make your code live up to a new standard, it tends to be healthy for the code because the code has to be flexible in a new way,” Scott said.
On mobile, it boasts a score in the mid-80s—an impressive feat when you consider how difficult it can be to create a smooth transition from desktop to mobile. Kevin’s blog, which again is powered by this technology, scores 98%.
Going back to the basics in terms of design elements
Greg Storey is the company’s President and works on many design-related aspects for LexBlog. His contributions to this product resulted in the sleek, simplified look you see now.
“What I wanted to do was make something that would look great without images,” Greg said. “Something primarily typography-driven in terms of the design, look and feel.”
There’s not a lot of customization options when it comes to the Blog—because we’ve figured out what works so you can focus on writing and publishing.
The home page of these Blogs features only one article. This is purposeful, as most traffic to a blog that comes through a search engine is usually from a post and not from the home page. This decision also allows for full-bleed images that are striking and fill up most of the width of the page.
It also goes back to the basics in terms of what worked for blogs in the early days. An option for a blog roll allows for users to support blogs they follow and continue developing a sense of community.
The production is changing how we view other facets of our company
Director of Customer Experience Brian Biddle, who has been with our company for 16 years, is always looking at how satisfied customers are, how to better improve the experience and what changes we can implement. The thought put into the new Blog offering is already making its mark on these processes.
“It’s making us rethink the way we look at our other products,” Brian said. “I think it’s important to allow one realm of the company to impact others, so that’s really exciting to see.”
Some design decisions can be rather arbitrary, in terms of not liking a color or things like that. Our new Blog technology bases design on things that are factual, compliance being one way to remain objective.
The team has thought through and worked through the selected colors and types, ensuring they’re WCAG AA compliant. Each Blog has a fixed color palette, currently allowing five choices for the user but this is likely to grow.
This shouldn’t be viewed as a limitation but quite the opposite. The options that users have are based on what we think—what we’ve come to know—the best product is.
Many of the choices that went into the Blog offering may not be fully realized—but they’ll be felt and experienced as users move throughout the product, as many thoughtful behind-the-scenes decisions resulted in this finalized look.
“I think we’re rather brave in deciding we’re going to limit the amount of pages you can add to your blog, to really refine what you need to speak to as far as the content of your interior pages,” Brian said. “But also to provide an experience on desktop and mobile where you’re not having to click to find everything. It’s there, it’s exposed and it’s readily available.”
We’ve anticipated questions and changes that might impact you
As this product is rolled out, it’s important for us to keep in mind that some experienced bloggers may be initially thrown off by some of the changes they’ll encounter.
To account for this, over 40 articles in our Support Center have already been updated to reflect this product and its configuration.
“Our Support Center is a living document,” Ethan Stanislawski, Director of Customer Success, said. “As we see questions emerge, we are able to create new articles and go through it as a team to make sure this information is clear and accessible to customers.”
As mentioned previously, these Blogs have a built-in design, which means the onboarding process will look slightly different than it currently does for other products.
The language in onboarding emails has been modified and users are encouraged to get on and start blogging right away even before launch. Launch times should also greatly increase over time, with some being able to fully launch within days of a contract being signed.
We are always committed to delivering our best. Right now, this Blog is what it looks like. Within three months we look forward to gathering feedback and continuing improvements so our best is truly our best.